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The Trump Budget: cuts to the poor fund tax cuts for the rich: neoliberalism on steroids

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 5/24/17

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Donald Trump, as an alternative to Clinton, was supported because Clinton was a "neoliberal."

From flickr.com: fat cat {MID-96896}
fat cat
(Image by Big Eyed Sol)
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Neoliberalism is the ideology of the fat cats..................

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Today, with the publication of Trump's Budget, which we may view as a moral document, it is clear that his entire economic program is neoliberalism on steroids.

First a brief history of neoliberalism: it was once a restatement of classical liberalism, associated with laissez faire unregulated markets and a prohibition against state intervention. It's most austere articulation was the Austrian School which claimed that state intervention always failed and led to, in Hayek's terms, serfdom.

In the 80's, the Chicago boys and Hayek all traveled to Chile to create the neoliberal model, using brutal force (with thousands killed and disappeared) in the hands of the bloody dictator Pinochet to impose "free market reforms." The result: a human rights catastrophe accompanied by economic collapse and nearly half the population reduced to poverty...and the creation of an instant class of millionaires. The same process was followed in Russia when the drunken dictator Yeltsin brought in conservative, free-market Harvard economists to administer shock therapy.

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The result? The creation thru "privatization" or the selling off of public assets at pennies on the dollar to create an instant class of million and billionaires. This was the shortcut to the capital accumulation that is the goal of capitalism. The other result was economic collapse, as Yeltsin shelled Parliament with tanks, banned political parties and critical media, and the GDP fell by 40% and the per capita income fell to a level lower than under Communism, at $2K per year. (Today, after 16 years of Putin's rule, the per capita income is $14K and Russia has bought back many of the assets given away by Yeltsin).

As I am writing this essay, here is the headline from the Washington Post:

"Trump advisers call for privatizing some public assets to build new infrastructure

The Trump administration, determined to overhaul and modernize the nation's infrastructure, is drafting plans to privatize some public assets such as airports, bridges, highway rest stops and other facilities, according to top officials and advisers.

In his proposed budget released Tuesday, President Trump called for spending $200 billion over 10 years to "incentivize" private, state and local spending on infrastructure.

Trump advisers said that to entice state and local governments to sell some of their assets, the administration is considering paying them a bonus."

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Almost all roads, bridges and airports are owned by the government, from cities to the Federal government, and airports, for instance, are a source of government revenue which helps keep taxes down. Speaking of keeping taxes down, in the same breath tht privatization is being proposed, Trump's economic advisors are considering raising the Federal gasoline tax. The one dollar day tax cuts a median wage earner will get from the Trump tax plan (Trump will get millions) will be eaten up by such tax hikes.

The planned 200 billion investment (borrowed or funded by selling off public assets) has bipartisan support but the Trump budget shortchanges this investment but cutting funds for infrastructure.

The Post reports: "when Trump's budget proposal was released, Schumer condemned the president's "180-degree turn away from his repeated promise of a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan," saying the budget contains deep cuts in spending on roads, transit projects, public housing and more.

"The fuzzy math and sleight of hand can't hide the fact that the President's $200 billion plan is more than wiped out by other cuts to key infrastructure programs," Schumer said in a statement."

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retired, working radical egalitarian/libertarian socialist old school independent, vegan, survivor


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